Indie or Major: Exploring The Label Options for Musicians

Earlier this week a musician friend of mine reached out for some advice.

Our conversation transcended into the different pathways for musicians, particularly that of labels. The topic is one that varies for many musicians.

Some might ask, what’s the right type of label? Independent or major?

Well, enough with the wondering questions, let’s take a look!

microphone, musician, music labelMusician Creative Control

The music direction is a factor for many musicians in their quest for a label. As an aspiring artist myself, I understand the importance of never feeling limited in the contribution of your own work.

Many artists find this creative freedom through many independent labels. The smaller setting of an independent label creates this freedom without pressure of pushing a sound unrelated to the true artist.

This certainly isn’t parallel with a major label, for example. The need for an artist to adjust to new waves of trend is a focal point for many large labels. This doesn’t mean that the limited creative control in major labels won’t fit for some musicians. However, if creative control is something that stimulates your musicianship, it’s best to seek a label that also caters.


musician, music labelMoney (and More Money)

The next lookout for artists is the driving force behind any label success: funding. Funding is the utmost important aspect that any label can offer an artist looking to market their music.

If you’re not too hung on creative control, you may be better off at a major label with a larger budget. At a major label, funds cover marketing to overall production. If your goal is to have your music heard and easily heard by numerous listeners, this would be the more suitable route.

For some artists, the most important thing is to market themselves to a wide audience. To achieve that, it’s a lot easier with the backing of funds and great connections.


musician, music labelWhat’s The Right Lane?

Knowing the various lanes you can take in seeking a label, the only next choice is to weigh the options and make a decision.  

If you want to take things to the next level, you know how important it is to have a team behind you. There really isn’t an absolute answer or a “right” decision.

The choice of label is based on the long-term outlook of the musician.

If you see your music moving forward and the choice affects it in the best way, you’ve got your answer!


Isaiah Cheek

Isaiah is a college student  from North Carolina and an Emerging Artist Contributor for On The Scene. 

Guest contributors are the opinion of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Creative Allies Inc. or its affiliates.

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